Tag Archives: Dark

Return to the core

At the end of the 4th year of my blog, this is my 200th post. Had I kept the weekly posting up for the past months, I’d have had an average of a post per week. I’m just short of that now, but that’s fine.

When I started this blog, early 2012, I intended to write a pathway into my own subconscious. Digging into darkness and light, expressing it by doing. I also intended to experiment with writing, get myself into the flow. Try out some styles, do interviews, poems, ramblings, short stories and testimonies of my adventures in life.

As I wrote about love, hate, social injustice and the limitations of the mind, as I condemned superficiality and took part in it, the desire to be recognized grew. I could see viewer and follower statistics. I discovered tricks that increased my readership and secretly hoped that one day, independent blogging might become my livelihood. But tricks result in temporary pulses, and Sailing on Dreams did not gradually expand in the way I hoped it would. This became a struggle, I put an effort in making the content more interesting, but discovered that joining trends had more effect. The amount of people who read my blog seemed unrelated to the quality of my articles as I perceived it, but far more linked to the effort I put in attraction. That was, possibly still is, the strongest disillusion I have had as a blogger.

Assuming that good work promotes itself, I started to wonder if my work was good enough. Is the blog’s title too pretentious? Does it miss the match with what I actually write about? Does it work against my words? Do I create the impression of being ungrounded? Is the work itself ungrounded? Not developed enough? Are the topics boring? Am I using bad English? Have I milked myself too far? Am I wrong?

Meanwhile, the lack of real breakthrough in my career and some concerning geopolitical developments grew onto me as a darkening cloud. Some of the stories became darker, too. And who wants to read sad, negative recountings? I usually don’t. But yes, I did get positive feedback from dear friends, and even from strangers. Also a single quite painfully negative one from a friend. Still, it seems as if some people were touched by some of my work. And I did realise that it were never the numbers that mattered, but the motion when touching each others’ souls.

I stopped using that word. Soul. What does it mean, after all? Its smurf-intensity is gi-normous. And it turned into cliché. Trying to be original, I have learned to despise repetition. But repetition gives structure. Stability. Accountability. And the sound of the word soul is good. It comes from deep. It hits breath-bottom.

Perhaps I forgot to find the magic in my words. Judged their enchantment as something self-centred, narcissistic. Perhaps I saw through my own marketing, and lost the capacity to convince myself.  The capacity to surrender to the dreams I sail. In attracting the invisible you, I sometimes forgot about  me.

As I did before in this time of year, now, for my 200th post, I find it time to return to the original intention of this blog. To recalibrate. I still think that in its spark, this blog has the right aim. Some of the series I wrote, such as the words for emotions, tuned into that well. The desire for readership fundamentally does not match that intention, and yet I could not ignore it. The expansion of the original intention towards ‘persociety’, as an attempt to dive into our collective subconscious was also good, as it possibly made the texts more relevant. But the fact that the collective subconscious of the modern west hides some very dark aspects is clearly not popular. I can imagine that exploring it that way, even if playfully, could feel like an accusation of the innocent public. But if that’s where I want to go, then that’s where I will be. Digging tunnels, in the cavities of the internet, sharing happily with those few souls I meet down here.

Thirty years ahead in life, 200 posts on my blog. On the threshold of 2016. You can divide that number by two for five times. Where this year will lead I don’t know. For what it’s worth, it will not stop me from rambling.

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Dark Light

A little hole in the clouds opens up. I see the sun and the moon. I yell: ‘wohoo!’. The eclipse is not complete, and the hole is there for just five seconds, but it’s enough to propel me back to a field in Luxembourg on August 11th, 1999. It’s the vivid darkness of the moon’s shade.

As kid I was very much drawn to the stars. I used to look up at night. Walking, in the car… Still do, in fact. Especially during the end of my teenage years, I knew a lot about the stars and the planets, and how they all align. The universe. Whatever explanation you wield for their existence, there’s something magical about the way they flicker in that eternal, deep darkness. There’s something mesmerizing about the fact that they float in a space that seems so infinitely big. Those bright lights in that vast darkness are just beautiful.

It must have been March that year when I picked up the phone and heard the voice of my uncle. He didn’t ask for my mom, but presented the news to me. Something spectacular was going to happen, and he and his friends would like to come over to our little farmers’ village in Luxembourg to check it out. I was instantly convinced. In the months that followed, I looked for all the information I could find about eclipses. How they occur, how they look and how exceptional they are. In books and papers, we didn’t have internet back then. I looked so much forward to seeing the sun’s corona.

When the day finally came, we drove out to some fields slightly further south, to have a longer view on the dark totality. Cars were parked alongside all farmers’ roads. For the only time history, it was hard to find a spot. But we did, and got out. My uncle yelled ‘follow the leader’ and up we went, a group of ten, fifteen, in the middle of crowded Luxembourgish nowhere.

Though I wouldn’t be able to find it back, the spot is still here in my memory. There were quite some trees on the north side, growing around a long fence, reaching over the fields. We had a good view over some meadow hills to the south.  It wasn’t that special, really, but it would be fun to return there once. The sun was already quite blinded when we arrived, but we had some time to go, in which we looked at each other in expectancy. After some twenty minutes, gloom approached us over the hills. Birds stopped singing, as we saw the moon silently move in front of the sun.

That deep darkness, surrounded by bright light. The quiet. It seemed so tangibly close. Not the surrounding light, but the darkness itself spoke up that day. Spoke out. Speaks out. It was with me when I ‘wohood’ last week.

In the early 19th century, Johan Wolfgang Goethe experimented with light and dark. He is known as a poet, but Goethe himself was of the opinion that his poetry was average. What really counted to him, were his studies of colours, where he disagreed with the already deceased Isaac Newton on some points. In his view, black light and white light were the two basic forces. All colours were a result of the interplay between the two. Yellow, he saw as white light weakened by dark light. He learned this from staring into a flame in a dark room. Blue, on the opposite end, was black light weakened by white, as occurs in the sunlit blue sky, reducing the vast darkness of the universe. His approach largely reflected the dualistic christian worldview of the opposites ‘good’ as light and ‘bad’ as darkness.

The dominating scientific belief of today teaches that Goethe was wrong. Based on earlier ideas by Newton, darkness is the absence of light, and the colours with their wavelengths together compose white light. Goethe’s response to this idea was that perception is an essential aspect of colour which can not be excluded from the equation. Adding a prism to the experiment means interacting with light, and can thus not be seen as an objective experiment. Goethe’s work still has influence in art. His intention was not to provide explanations, in fact he was against them, his intention was to describe his observations. For him, the psychological impact of light, the question how it moves us, how it triggers our imagination, was an important part of the study.

The room where I grew up could be blinded to total darkness. Most of my friends had night lights, I didn’t. I couldn’t sleep with them. I liked it dark. But I do remember feeling presences. Sometimes I turned the lights back on to check if something was lingering under the bed. That act changed the atmosphere entirely. The feeling of a presence was gone as soon as I turned on the light. As I grew older, I learned that it was my imagination playing tricks on me. Since the eclipse of March 20th, I’m suspecting the darkness itself.

Doesn’t the darkness feel closer than light? More intimate? Or inward focussed at least. For me it has always been a presence, not an absence. Closer than my carotid. It compelled me in 1999, and I saw that again last week. The memory of a beam of black light.

I wonder what the world would have looked like, had Goethe´s ideas been followed in the same way as Newton´s. Would children still fear the dark?

Breathshake

In the series of new names for unspoken emotions, I´d like to discuss breathshake. Breathshake is what it sounds like, a deep shaking of the breath that interferes with the actual breathing. It comes together with a pulsating fear of the loss of life, possibly that fundamental one. In fact, I´d challenge you with the thought that breathshake is a pulsating appearance of life out of a state where it is not. Appearance of emotion too. It´s probably the most terrifying fast emotion I know.

The obvious pathway to the experience of breathshake is running out of air. You can do this by not stopping with breathing out, going very deep into the water or doing sports while breathing far below your natural rhythm. The first option is probably safest. In these cases, my diaphragm starts contracting and I have the sensation of being cut off. The thought “this situation is eternal” forces itself upon me. You could call it fear of death, but I think it is a fear of never getting access to life anymore. While silence is present, a feverish tingly cloud dwells up in my upper body. I feel sweat emerge from several spots. I sense that the feeling could subdue me from the back of my neck and shut off my awareness. It never has.

Lighter forms of breathshake can occur without that I run out of air. An interesting thing that can trigger this for me is the tought of not receiving attention from a person I love. It can also happen in conversations where I feel incapable of standing up for myself the way I think I deserve. It is as if the conversation partner suppresses my self-perceived value and does not recognize my true character, or whatever it is inside me that needs to be appreciated at that moment. The parallel with being cut off from oxygen is interesting, as if human attention also is a substance we need.

The pulsating character of breathshake delivers a remarkable alteration of states of mind which reveals parts of myself to me. Fuelled with panic, short, shallow gulps of breath try to resolve the feeling of sinking away into a swamp. That experience alternates a state of tranquility and acceptance, as if the end is already there. This tranquility eventually takes over and allows my breath to deepen again. All of it happens quite quickly.

Breathshake relativizes my concerns. It can release some tensions, but it also makes me aware of my incapacity to be fully in control of myself. I am aware again that somewhere deep inside me lingers a deep desire for taking part that can become stronger than myself. The thought is humbling, but slightly discomforting too.

In the light of death

I wrote this one in the cafeteria of the hospital, right after I met my grandma for the last time. In Dutch, but you can find the translation below. Click to enlarge

 

InLichtDoodBlog

 

 

In the light of death, all is what it is

A glass of water with granules for example

The step of the foot of each person remains but a whole step

Darkness is dark, and light is light

Before death.

 

In the light of death, life is dirty and pure

Unpolishable, it drags itself along, as if a fight about being

Of only itself

 

In the light of death, love is true

Undeniably, it glows up and turns off through

To the core of all little beings

 

Big and tiny can be together in the light of death

For no comparison falls but death

Only fear knows big and small but does not eat death’s cookie to crumble

 

In the light of death, black turns white and white turns black

Just like on a squared coat

Hiding the truth

Ever unspoken? To unspeak is to magically change the meaning of an action or event by framing it differently. Steven Poole applied this word to politics, but it reaches far, far further. It’s a subtle act, quite vulgar if used it for crowd manipulation.

Why do we speak about job creation and not about job destruction? Someone seems to want credit there. Which of the two is real? Another one: if you copy a file but someone else doesn’t like that, it’s called piracy. Why not multiplication? If anything, this last word is closer to the truth. In this case it is unfortunate for the inventor of the word that Johnny Depp has made the pirate into a hero. Last example: safety. Probably the top argument to rob another from his freedom. It implies a threat. Short comment on that: who implies a threat, creates a threat.

Once detected, cases are easily popped. Unspeaking effectively, however, means choosing your words with such care that it is not easily discovered. An effective choice of words acts like blinders to our vision. It directs your attention, avoiding your mind from going anywhere else than where it was planned to go by somebody who thought it through before you.

So, once again, do you unspeak? Ever told someone that he has to earn money (instead of doing something he doesn’t want to)? Ever advised someone to be considerate of a third person’s feelings (instead of telling the truth)? Ever told someone to go on a holiday (instead of heaving himself checked at a mental hospital)?  I suppose we all unspeak on some level. Perhaps we are trying to avoid anger.

A more interesting question here is perhaps: why do we accept it? Why do we keep ourselves in the dark? Are we really sheep?

Pirates in Wonderland

“I can tell you in advance that you will not enjoy this meeting.” The words of the local mayor surprise me for not more than a second. Sooner or later, this had to come. “We have decided that we will not give you the permit for your yearly festival.” After this meeting, Salome the chairlady, Jan Jaap and I will each have a seven euro beer. It’s only when they present the bill that I will let my anger out. Such things ought to be dosed.

“When they ask you for your name, don’t give it to them. They will hold you responsible for everything that happens.” Colan has entered the Coffee Barack -my old house- and it seems to me as if he tries to move us to a mental war against the state. In the past week, we have done all in our capacity to cut back the growing feeling that the absent permit is just another expression of the increasing party repression by governments all over Europe. I think this case is different: we have an open communication channel with the municipality, and we’d like to keep it that way.

There is another tendency: in the past decade, the droef festival has grown enormously. Outsiders have lobbied in Droevendaal, persuading inhabitants to allow a party in their house. Some of these parties had darkened the atmosphere at some specific spots. Last year this seems to have withheld the police to enter our terrain because the were afraid. The Droevendalers, of course, have always prevented trouble. This place is their home.

We have moved the earth and the skies to scale Droeffest 2012 down. Steered two hundred inhabitants into a new direction. The police seemed to threaten us this morning, sending a constant stream of police cars over our terrain, visible and undercover, fining those who’d parked their cars in front of their own house. We have greeted them friendly, tolerated their threats and shown them there is more to life than rules and control. The party is great as always. Smaller, decentralised, but the atmosphere is as it sould be: relaxed and connected. Bands play in gardens, DJs bring about a silly mess and beer and rum – though hidden – are as available as ever. The theme: Pirates in Wonderland.

One week later the story is not over: it’s merely a start. It’s an example of how a mass of people can be wiser than their anger. More caring than self destructive, even in the face of such childish governmental futilities. On October 10th, we will go back to the municipality, holding the facts. We will ask the fines back and show them diplomatically, how childishly they were playing this game. We will demonstrate the redundancy of some rules and negotiate a new course. I hope this will become an example of how non-commercial organizations, groups without money, can prevail with merely the powers of reciprocity and reason. Searching for a path where freedom is achieved not against, but together with the other.

Joining forces

The trip to here was long but fun. A new meeting with Jordi, pizza in the dark, a tent in the forest and self made sounds at the shore. Our host family is a bunch of French loonatics with big hearts and today we slept on a cozy attick, barely bigger than the tent itself. Comawise.

At the start of this session, Mphathelene shared how her family sees her. As a demon. She’s one of the few who fight for sacred sites and values, in spite of christian propaganda. More of her kind parttake. The tears of some have brought the group closer together. Participants listen openly to one another. “I think fundamentalists do most of the harm.” Says Jessica from Massachusets. Jordi and I have had good fun trying to pronounce “Massachusets”. I challenge those present to love their enemies. It’s easy for me to say; I have no enemies, but some people close their eyes and do it briefly.

All people here – some from the remotest tribes – feel deep purpose in this gathering: to experience, share and cherish what is important for us in this life. As long as we focus on that, I don’t believe there is an enemy.

On Rubber Soles

Timothy wants to escape. Not that he doesn’t like it here. No. He just wants to escape. His friends tell him there is nothing there, outside. But Timothy does not believe them. He thinks that every time the circle opens and the eye looks in, there is something more going on outside. A different world we do not see.

When Timothy walks to school in the dark – it’s always dark – hands in his pockets, looking at the dark round sky, he imagines how it is to be out there where the light comes from. He imagines a world where the shiny dots are all around. Where people dance with them in circles.

When Timothy gets to school, hands in his pockets, he does not understand what’s going on. The other children are playing, but they do not seem to enjoy it that much. They seem to be fighting for something, but there never is a prize. When there’s a ball, they all want the ball. When there’s no ball, they chase each other back and forth in the dark. If there’s a pool, they push each other in, but no one likes to get that wet.

When class starts, Timothy thinks the teachers are making fools of themselves. They talk about molecules they have never seen as if they were true as their left hands. When Timothy asks them how they know, they answer no more than: ‘some wise men made that up in the past’. And everybody believes they are right.

There are patterns in the occurrence of the eye, they say. Mathematical regularities. They heaven’t learned to predict them yet, but they believe that one day, a brilliant mind will stand up to capture the pattern of the eye. Timothy’s parents tell him he should try. That’s what all parents tell their children. It’s the ultimate challenge of this time to know how to foresee the eye. The one who does will be richly awarded. But Timothy believes it makes no sense. There is no pattern, Timothy believes, just frictions of collective imagination.

So Timothy wants to escape. He is fed up with fleabread and bugbites. He thinks there’s better food outside. Sometimes, when the eye peaks in, he smells warm hominess enter. He would not know how else to describe than “the scent of delight”. Others don’t like it. Think it is too strong. A curse from the eye. A warning to tell them that if they don’t behave, they will be suffocated to death with poisonous gasses. Timothy thinks they’re nuts.

He’s fed up with collecting moist from the air with brushes of flea hair. He finds it smart, though, to hang the brushes out and wait for drinks to collect themselves. Very bright, his people, but out there there must be an easier way. He knows, because sometimes when the eye appears, the water just runs in. They think it’s a warning. Behave, or I’ll flood you, they hear it whisper in their heads. But Timothy doesn’t believe the eye is that bad. Besides, he likes the taste of that water better. But no one else dares to try it.

Timothy’s parents are mostly blind. They see the eye as a vague blur. They don’t admit it, but Timothy knows. He can tell by the way they walk. Bumping in the dark.

His little sister is dull. She keeps a mite as a pet. She calls it Henry. Cuddles it. Strokes its hairy legs. When she takes it out on a walk, it pulls the rope very hard, as if it wants to escape. But Timothy’s sister loves it too much to let it go. She’d never let Tim call him the mite. ‘He has a name, you know?’ Sometimes they’re adorable together, and Timothy is moved.

But Timothy wants to escape. He has a plan. One day, when he feels the time is right, he will walk up towards where the eye comes out. Then, he waits until the eye takes a look, and he will walk into the other world and dance between the dots of light. When walking up, he will wear rubber shoes so that he does not slide of the slippery slope. He will wear his black coat so that others will not see him walk away. After all the penalty for walking up is high.

“Look there’s Tim!” say the boys of the class. They run towards him and surround him, but Timothy does not care. He just walks on. “You’re in my way” he tells one. They just want to play with him, but Tim’s not in the mood. The boys are astonished while they see him walk away.

When the teacher talks about the eye’s gaze, back in the days when the Grand Timathon still inhabited this place, Timothy listens with just half of his brain. Today’s the day; he feels it now. “The Grand Timathon was chewing on his fleapie when suddenly, the sky opened and the eye looked in. The Grand Timathon shouted: ‘who are you?’ But the eye did not reply. That’s when it dawned upon him that the eye could not hear. Otherwise he would have been an ear. We now take this knowledge for granted, but it was the Grand Timathon who discovered it. A genius, wasn’t he?” All children agree. “Timothy, as his descendant, would you agree?” “I’m not sure mister Wrats.” “See, class, this is how intelligence can be lost over generations. Timothy doubts that something as plain and clear as an eye cannot hear.” Now Timothy’ sure: he wants to escape.

He has to be quick. When school ends his parents wait for him at home. He cannot be home before dark, it is already dark. Impatience is not uncommon in the world under the eye. He should not be seen by the crowd. When school ends, he walks at the back of the line. “If I play this well, they will not miss me” so he thinks.

Thus, when the whole group passes the slope, Timothy hides in the dark. It goes unseen, there goes the line. On and on towards their homes. He cannot see them, or smell. He can only see white dots and smell warm hominess. So he walks up. He doesn’t slide because of his rubber soles. Step by step he walks. It is a long walk up. Very long. If you’d ask him, Timothy would not be able to say how far it is up. But he walks, step by step. He can not go back now, he has to go on. He cannot get tired, but he will.

By now, Timothy has no clue how long he walked. It has been a while. He’s breathing loudly. His heart beats with force. But he sees nothing. He cannot go back. The bells are ringing, down there. They wouldn’t appreciate his adventurous return. Nail him to a pole and ignore him for a week or so, until dim Tim would wonder if he ever existed at all. It is said at school that in the past, some have ceased to be. By now, there is no way back. Timothy has to escape. So on he carries on his rubber soles.

He thinks back. There was little fun down there. They were strange. Insane. He misses them. He loved them. But he doesn’t think they’ll miss him. Now they do. But they’ll forget Timothy like they forgot all others when they talk about the past. No. They never cared. Timothy disappears in the dark.

So he goes. On and on. Every step as slippery. He cannot sit, that would take away the effect of the rubber soles. He’d slide back down to them, faster and faster, unable to stop he would. End up in their claws of vengeance. Ignored, rotten. Fading. The slide itself would be cool, though. But he has to step on. Stands still when he’s tired, but not for too long. You never know when the eye turns up. If Timothy wants to escape, there is where he’ll need to be. He must be almost half way now, but what does he know in the dark?

He pictures the white dots around the eye. They shine and spark in the dark, with all the colours of the rainbow. They speak to Timothy. Ask him to come and spark along. They have been nice to him. He is getting closer to belonging to him. Closer by the step. Wondering what’s behind that occasional gaze into the depths of the abyss. He cannot slide.

As the bells sound further away, Timothy feels alone. There is nowhere left to return to. His home is no more. Timothy’s step to escape has made him orphan of the prison that is society. He’s loose into thin air, except for his rubber soles on the slippery slope. Soles he inherited from his grandpa Timathon the third. He fabricated them just before he passed away. “Take good care of these soles, Timothy” he said. “One day they may hold you on to places others dare not go.” Timothy misses old Timathon. He wonders if maybe he could be found near the eye or the sparkling dots.

It seems like the longer he walks, the slowlier he goes. But Timothy has no watch, nor can he see any progress. He feels like spurt has left him, wonders if it is for good. He’s calmer now, supported by his rubber soles, there’s no more need to run from his thread on the slippery slope. Old grandpa walks along.

“Am I there yet?” he wonders sometimes. And sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes he hears the fading far away of the panic down there. Sometimes he doesn’t. He pictures the eye and forgets how it looked. It will show. Will it show? Timothy’s mind plays tricks while his feet take steps in the dark.

But – clunk – his forehead hits the edge. No more walking. He takes a few steps back. Now what? Now wait. No, wait! He sings a song of the darkness with a mellow voice. OoooOoooOoooO OoooooO, the song goes a, the song goes e, the song goes i. His voice trembles and can be straight as a line. But nothing happens.

Timothy dares not move as he stands here at the edge. No dots to be seen. His legs are tired as he stands. Now he knows. There is nothing to be done but wait and see. Timothy thinks that is not doing something. So he fights within. He wants to sit but can’t: he’ll slide. Back down into the dark. Back into the arms of those who must panic by now.

The gate opens. Timothy loses his balance. One step back, two steps. He falls and slides. O dear. There he goes back down. But Timothy doesn’t want to go down. Timothy wants to escape. The name of his grandpa echoes down the Tube, while Timothy presses his rough rubber soles on the slippery slope and gets his grip back.

Now that the eye beholds, Timothy notes that the shiny white dots call also from below. Is it a trick? Are they luring him back? But how? They see the eye now.

Dots down and up. Now what? The hesitation is brief. A wave of euphoria crosses his sense. This is it! Don’t thread to quickly, step at the time. Step-step, step-step on his rubber soles. Timothy stands on the edge.

This is new for Timothy. He’d never seen an edge nor space nor proper light. He’d never seen ground nor roof, or eternal air in all sides. The shiny white dots are all around now, but far away as ever before. What to do with this world all around? Timothy cannot go back, he should go, and he’d better do it soon.

Timothy on the edge. The step out of the dark is a step in the unknown. It smells good, but there will be no way back. He sees the unknown. Feels it breeze on his face. There is no way back.

And so he goes.

The Departure of Julian

The door has to stay open for the ventilation of some plants on the first floor. This dark, empty space calls out to me while I’m waiting in the hall for my girlfriend; you know how women are. I feel melancholy and sadness about what this room turns out to represent. Failure of a friend. The loss of many dreams. We all lived along and saw it happen. We tried to interfere at times, tried to help him change, but we were bound to fail. What started as joy and empathy gradually turned into irritation and later into frustration. His disappointments were ours as well.

When I approached our house, packed from a four-month stay in Peru, I was delighted to see it was surrounded by pots with plants. Julian had taken over Giels room. He collected plants that were about to be thrown away by garden centres, and sometimes he bought one. His room was full of them. It was a beautiful new start. The plants gave an impulse. Together with Felix, another new housemate, we were a dynamic trio. We gave the house a makeover, organised a house party themed Jungle, relocated the campfire to a more accessible place for visitors and we organised winter cafés. Julian attracted the people, we hosted them.

Over time, most of the plants in his room turned brown, filling it with death and abandonment. His collection of living and dead plants kept growing, and occupied more and more of our living space. His projects got postponed, and our belief in his stream of promises slowly faded away. Our bond got a bitter side taste. Very often, when we wanted to call him for dinner, we could not find him. “Where is Julian?” became the house question. We tried to help him, we asked him to respect us, he heard us, but he could not act on it. Later, he was gone for months. Unreachable. Then returned unexpectedly, stayed for months, and left again.

A few weeks ago, when I was back to visit Zuzana, he arrived with his dad. He has a girlfriend now. His announcement was plain and clear: ”I’m moving out”. It hurt my heart, but came with a relief. He stayed for a week, then left without goodbye.

The dark emptiness of his room still expresses the memories. It’ll change. Soon, Johanna will enter and bring in new personality. He will be out there, in the big wide unprotected world. Whenever he’ll return, things will seem more hopeful. His goal now, is to build an energy neutral airplane. And you know what? Some light inside me thinks that somehow he’ll succeed.

Yes and No

As I turn my face towards her, I know that something intense is about to happen. I hear myself say: ”So right now I am yes to you, and you are no to me.” The words come from deep and reach out deep while our eyes connect in a second of reciprokal gaze. Undivided by our dividedness.

2001. I am standing in the forest in the dark. A stage in front of us. Many liters of free beer. Marieke has the microphone and starts to sing. What a voice. By the end of the concert, I’ll be out of my mind. And I’ll stay in love with her for years.

“No!”.”No!”.”No!” So, would you like to become a donator? “No!”. While I say yes to almost everything, I’ve been hearing a lot of no’s in the past months. This job, that job, the house I’m living in and now most of the people I’m talking with on the street. “Ok, have a nice day!” But between the many conversations I have had today, Marieke stands in front of me. We often met by coincidence. “Hey!”

Now, we’re sitting at a table in the Vondelpark, equal in essence, impersonating yes with fresh mint tea and no with a coffee, while the trees are preparing for their outburst of spring. She just told me how she quit her jobs to the dissatisfaction of her colleagues and how she broke up with her guy after he asked her to marry him. “You always bring out the hippy side in me”. It’s in times like these that I see the colours of the energies. I am aware that things flow into each other obviously as our smiles do now.

“Will you be my girlfriend?” Looking back, I could have chosen a more romantic setting than the schools main entrance. I had wanted to, but never dared. Hey, it was my first time. Her answer can be summarized in a short but painful ”No”. Little did I know then that in over ten years, this would contribute to a cosmic click.